4 Factors That Determine Your Less-Than-Truckload Freight Class

When it comes to moving LTL freight shipment from one point to another, one of the first things you need to consider is its class determination in the trucking industry.

Every commodity/product in the world of cargo shipping is assigned a specific classification code number that has a corresponding LTL freight class linked to it. Freight class is an essential aspect of the entire shipping process, and it greatly influences the price your carrier will charge you for transporting your freight. Therefore, to ensure your carrier is charging the right price, it is essential to determine your cargo’s freight class.

Below we mention some of the factors that determine the LTL freight class of a shipment. But first, let’s discuss.

What is LTL Shipping and Freight Class?

LTL or less-than-truckload freight shipping is used when small freight needs to be transported or when it doesn’t require the use of the entire truck trailer. And freight class is a measurement system that the transporters use for pricing and formulating the cost of LTL shipment.

It is a standardized classification system and is essential in the case of LTL shipment because they involve a variety of products that do not share the same density value, liability, or handling and therefore must be priced differently. Freight class is assigned to the following determining factors.


While some LTL shipments can easily be transported to their delivery points, others require much care and handling. For example, freight susceptible to breaking will require special attention while loading and unloading, so it does not get broken or damaged during the process. Similarly, every commodity needs to be handled differently, and there are 18 different freight classes to help carriers account for all degrees of shipment challenges in their pricing model. If the freight is fragile or has hazardous properties, it will come under a higher class and increased shipping cost.

LTL freight is commonly transported via dry van trucks where the shipment can be loaded at the back of the container either through swinging sets of doors or roll-up doors. The difference between the two doors alone can have a significant impact on how easily a specific type of freight can be handled.


Stow-ability takes into account how easily a shipment can be transported alongside other commodities in the same trailer. Most LTL carriers would want to maximize the utilization of their equipment in one shipping. They would want the freight to stow safely and neatly into their trailer adjacent to other shipment products.

However, flammable, hazardous, or perishable cargo, cannot be shipped with other products and would require separate transportation. The ease with which cargo is safely stowed and transported influences its LTL freight classification.


Some commodities are of high value and may be susceptible to theft, while other low-valued products such as harmful chemicals could be hazardous and prone to lethal accidents.

This probability of the freight being prone to theft or accident, or causing damage to other shipments during the process is known as the liability of the cargo. The higher the risk of accident or damage due to the freight type, the higher its freight class will be.


The density of an object is calculated by dividing the object’s mass by its volume. The density will determine the amount of space the object will occupy in the trailer. Freight that has a higher density and is more compact will fall into a lower class category meaning that it will be shipped at a lower price as compared to an object of lower density (bulkier item).

LTL freight class plays a vital role in determining the price of freight charges. If you’re looking for cost-effective LTL freight services in Canada or North America, then visit our website or contact us today at 780-485-0823.

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